Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Died

Today in history — January 22, 1890 — Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku died. He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming and surfer who made surfing popular on the U.S. Mainland.

Read more about him in “Duke Kahanamoku.”

Duke Kahanamoku

Pau Hana for Hawaii’s Sugar King

This week in history  — December 26, 1908 — Hawaii’s “sugar king,” Claus Spreckels, died after a brief illness. As one of the ten richest Americans, Spreckels dominated the sugar industries on the U.S. West Coast and in Hawaii from mid-1800s until his death. In Hawaii, he owned a plantation town, Spreckelsville, Maui; and incorporated Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S).

Today, the name “Matson” is synonymous with Hawaii’s shipping industry–a lifeline for the world’s most isolated population center. In its early years, Spreckels financed William Matson’s ships for his new shipping company.

Spreckels gave loans and bribes to King Kalakaua and cabinet members. In return, Spreckels got land and water rights. The water rights for the Northeast Maui streams included complete ownership and control over the water. He irrigated the water to Spreckelsville plantation.

Read more about the “sugar king” in “Hardy Pioneer and Benefactor of State Died.”

“Hardy Pioneer and Benefactor of State Died”
The San Francisco call, Dec. 27, 1908, Page 18

King Kamehameha IV’s Death

Today in history–November 30, 1863–King Kamehameha IV, also known as Alexander ʻIolani Liholiho, died. During his reign, Liholiho tried to prevent the United States from conquering the Kingdom of Hawaii and established the Queen’s Medical Center with his wife Queen Emma Rooke.

At age twenty-nine, Liholiho died of chronic asthma a year after the death of his son, Prince Albert. Emma was left as a widow and never remarried.

Read more about the Kingdom of Hawaii’s fourth monarch in “Death of His Majesty Kamehameha IV!”

“Death of His Majesty Kamehameha IV!”
Pacific commercial advertiser, December 3, 1863, Image 2

100th Anniversary of Jack London’s Death

Today is the 100th anniversary of Jack London’s death. Days before Nov. 22, 1916, the famed American writer was completing a Hawaiian novel. Read about Jack London’s time in Hawaii in “Jack London in Hawaii.”

Jack London in Hawaii

The Last Queen of Hawaii Died

Today in history — November 11, 1917 — Queen Liliuokalani died at age seventy-eight on a Sunday morning. Church bells rang in mourning. The Tacoma Times described her last years:

“… she has retired to her beautiful home here surrounded by a few chosen friends. … she has continued, in a limited way, the pomp and ceremony of the days when she was queen.”

Her nephew Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole stayed with her at her bedside.

Read more about it in “Queen Who Wrote Famous ‘Aloha’ Passes to Her Rest.”

“Queen Who Wrote Famous ‘Aloha’ Passes to Her Rest”
Tacoma times, November 12, 1917, Page 5

Princess Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop Died

This week in history — October 16, 1884 — Princess Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop died of breast cancer in Honolulu. She is known today as the philanthropist of Kamehameha Schools, the largest landowner in Hawaii and the largest endowment of all American secondary schools. Read more about the alii in “The Late Mrs. C. R. Bishop.”

“The Late Mrs. C. R. Bishop”
Hawaiian gazette, October 22, 1884, Image 2

Princess Virginia Kapooloku Poomaikelani Died

Today in history — October 2, 1895, Princess Virginia Kapooloku Poomaikelani passed away. She was Queen Kapiolani’s younger sister, and her parents were Princess Kinoiki Kekaulike of Kauai and High Chief Kuhio Kalanianaole of Hilo. Virginia served as Governor of the Big Island from 1884 to 1886.

Read about her funeral arrangements in “Laid to Rest.”

“Laid to Rest”
Hawaiian gazette, October 4, 1895, Page 8